Port Elgin Pumpkinfest earns three 2023 Festival and Events awards

Port Elgin Pumpkinfest won three Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO) awards including being named one of the 2023 Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario.

Along with the Innovation and Top 100 awards, Pumpkinfest co-ordinator Joanne Robbins was inducted into the FEO Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony March 8 in Niagara Falls

A March 10 Pumpkinfest news release said Pumpkinfest was proud to partner with Port Elgin Home Hardware to present a 2022 Spring “Grow With Us” promotion to encourage gardeners of all ages and calibre to join in the fun of growing a garden – whether a giant or just a small vegetable garden.

The release said not only did this innovative partnership promote environmental stewardship, but it also gave youth the chance to experience the joy of growing their own vegetables and being front and centre on the Pumpkinfest main stage.

We are extremely pleased with this recognition and will continue this programming in future years,” the release said.

Hall of Fame Inductee

Pumpkinfest officials said Joanne Robbins was “very surprised” to be called to the stage to accept induction into the FEO Hall of Fame for 2023.

I am honoured and humbled to accept this award and join the 47 Hall of Fame recipients,” Robbins said in a March 10 news release. “I’ve been very blessed with creative Board members, a supportive community and a Municipality that goes above and beyond to help stage this festival.”

Port Elgin Pumpkinfest has been a member of FEO since it’s beginning and gives credit to the organization for offering the learning and education support to the industry.  They have certainly aided us in our ongoing success, the release said.

Port Elgin Pumpkinfest earned three Festivals & Events Ontario awards March 8 in Niagara Falls, including being named one of Top 100 events in Ontario.

In a letter shared with the Shoreline Beacon, Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau expressed how proud the Town is of Pumpkinfest officials and the acclaim they have brought to Saugeen Shores.

On behalf of Saugeen Shores Town Council, I want to say how immensely proud we are of Joanne Robbins and the entire Pumpkinfest Committee for the three awards – three! — they received at this year’s Festival and Events Ontario Gala.

It is fitting that Festival and Events Ontario (FEO) has recognized Joanne for all her hard work over several decades.  Her efforts to build and grow the Town’s marquee event are nothing short of astounding.

Pumpkinfest manages to do many things all at once.  It has grown from what was essentially an agricultural event and raised its profile to attract people from all over the world.

Not only that, but it has also brought visitors to our community in what is supposed to be the “off season”, allowing our economy to expand even further. Pumpkinfest has become so ingrained in the collective psyche of our community that it is now a major milestone on the calendar: autumn really doesn’t start in Saugeen Shores until Pumpkinfest has come and gone for the year.

Congratulations to the Pumpkinfest Committee for winning FEO’s Innovation Award ($100K-$500K) in partnership with Home Hardware, for being one of the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario (RTO7 Division), and especially to Joanne Robbins for her induction into the 2023 FEO Hall of Fame.

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